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Gender dynamics in water use and management at Nyanyadzi Smallholder Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Francis, J.
dc.contributor.advisor Manyoro, M.
dc.contributor.author Muchemwa-Munasirei, Priscillah
dc.date 2018
dc.date.accessioned 2018-10-05T12:04:18Z
dc.date.available 2018-10-05T12:04:18Z
dc.date.issued 2018-09-21
dc.identifier.citation Muchemwa-Munasirei, Priscillah (2018) Gender dynamics in water use and management at Nyanyadzi Smallholder Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa,<http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1219>.
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/1219
dc.description PhDRDV
dc.description Institute for Rural Development
dc.description.abstract Throughout the world, irrigation is appreciated because of its immense contribution to agricultural production, food and nutrition security, combating poverty and enhancing development, especially in rural areas. The worsening effects of climate change on rainfall patterns as well as food and nutrition insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa are elevating the importance of irrigation schemes in smallholder farming. However, studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa indicate that the performance of irrigation schemes remains suboptimal. In addition, the studies are highly skewed towards technical and physical dimensions of the schemes and ignore social aspects such as gender. Consideration of gender imperatives would help define and structure who uses water, when and how. This situation necessitated carrying out the PhD thesis research, aiming to explore and explain inherent gender dynamics in water use and management. The ultimate aim was to propose intervention strategies anchored on differential gender power dynamics embedded in irrigation water use in smallholder irrigation schemes. Specific objectives adopted for the study of the Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme in Manicaland Province of Zimbabwe were to: 1) assess the gendered nature of irrigation water use; 2) determine the gendered nature and extent of participation of male and female members of the irrigation scheme in water management; 3) identify the gendered challenges and constraints to irrigation water use; and 4) propose strategies for improved access and management of water. An exploratory sequentially integrated mixed method research design was used in the two phased PhD studies. Seventy three farmers (26 men and 47 women) were the respondents in the first phase in which qualitative data were collected. The gender analysis matrix and activity profile were used to gather and document the perceptions of men and women farmers relating to use of irrigation water. One hundred and nine conveniently sampled respondents (47 men and 62 women) were the source of data in the second phase of the study, which was quantitative and confirmatory in nature. A questionnaire, requiring responses on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) was used to collect data. Qualitative data collected during the exploratory phase were analysed using the Cresswell (2013) Thematic Content Analysis technique. Pair-wise ranking was conducted to determine the major constraints to access, use and management of irrigation water. The Predictive Analytics Software Statistics 18 for Windows (PASW Inc: Chicago, IL, USA) was used to analyse quantitative data. Gender, age, marital status, location of irrigation plot, plot ownership and level of education were the independent variables used. Dependent variables included nature of water use, participation in water management and constraints to water use. Cross-tabulation was carried out and the iii Pearson’s Chi-square test for association used to establish if relationships existed between variables. Statistical significance was considered at P < 0.05. The Cramer’s V post-hoc test was performed to measure the strength of association of the perceptions which the Chi-square test had determined to be significantly different. The uses of canal water were found to be varied and gendered. More women than men used canal water for reproductive purposes such as laundry and bathing. Highly significant positive associations (P < 0.01) were observed among gender, age, marital status, ownership of irrigation plot and level of education with use of irrigation water for laundry, bathing, livestock watering and other communal uses. However, location of plot was not associated with different types of water uses (P > 0.05). With respect to farmers’ participation in meetings, contributing in meetings, repair of canals, provision of labour in canal maintenance, hiring labour for canal maintenance and contributing cash for canal repairs and maintenance, highly significant positive associations (P < 0.01) were observed with gender, age, marital status, level of education, and ownership and location of irrigation plot. Level of education of the farmer was observed to be not associated with his/her attendance of meetings (P > 0.05). Plot location was negatively associated with participation, provision of labour for maintenance, contribution of cash and hiring labour for canal repairs (P > 0.05). Exorbitant payments for using water were regarded as the major constraint to performance of the smallholder irrigation scheme. Highly significant positive associations (P < 0.01) were observed between gender and plot location, and all the constraints to water use that the farmers identified. The constraints ranged from unequal water distribution between and within men and women, and upstream and downstream farmers; unfriendly water delivery times; conflicts and corrupt practices in water distribution; and discrimination with respect to schedules of delivering water. Overall, gender imbalance in the use and management of irrigation water existed. This was evident in the disparities in uses and users of canal water that followed gender and social lines. Men dominated decision making in water management, especially in meetings. In contrast, women dominated in implementation stages mainly in relation to provision of labour for cleaning and maintaining water canals. Considering all the results obtained in the current study, it can be concluded that a combination of socio-economic and socio-cultural factors caused the water problems that the Nyanyadzi irrigation scheme experienced. The need for introducing gender-sensitive interventions in use and management of irrigation water was evident. Thus, gender needs, roles and responsibilities should be reconceptualised so as to align them with the socio-cultural context of the Nyanyadzi community. In addition to this, the fact that both men and women iv are not homogeneous interest groups should be factored into irrigation water management. Lastly, it is crucial to incorporate various social hierarchies that interact with gender to influence irrigation water use and management. How this can be done deserves further scientific investigation. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NRF en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xv, 165 leaves)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Gender en_US
dc.subject Irrigation en_US
dc.subject Participation en_US
dc.subject Management en_US
dc.subject Smallholder en_US
dc.subject.ddc 333.913096891
dc.subject.lcsh Women in development -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Water in agriculture -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation -- Management
dc.subject.lcsh Water -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Irrigation farming -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Water use -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Water-supply -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Water-supply, Rural -- Zimbabwe
dc.title Gender dynamics in water use and management at Nyanyadzi Smallholder Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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